Just Evil

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Authors: Vickie McKeehan
more, find out who some of the actors were, get in touch with them.
They might remember something.”
    Kit looked at him as if seeing him for the first time. He
was willing to take the time from his busy schedule to find something out about
her father. Maybe this man was different from the self-absorbed guy she’d known
for so many years. As they started walking again, she suddenly thought of
something. “Why on earth is your boat docked here instead of Marina del Rey?”
    He flashed a smile at her and lied through his teeth. “There
was some problem with the boat permit at the time. I thought it would be better
to move the Sea Warrior rather than fight with the marina. You know I
stopped by the bookstore a couple of weeks ago when I got back. You’d already
closed up for the day.”  
    “Why didn’t you just call me at home while you were here? We
could have gotten together for dinner.”
    He raised a brow. “After the chilly reception I got
Saturday, I can just about picture how well that phone call out of the blue
would have gone.”
    “Ouch. Direct hit. But it seems I had an epiphany this
afternoon in the form of two police detectives. They didn’t exactly have my
best interests at heart. It reminded me that in a spot like this, a person
can’t have too many friends. And we’re two mature adults who both care a great
deal about Gloria.” It was the wine putting her in such a generous mood.
    Deciding that friend was a huge step up, he said, “We’ve
never had a problem being friends, Kit.”
    “You can’t say I haven’t tried to be more over the years.”
    “Yeah. The timing was always off.”
    “For you maybe. Not for me.”
    There it was. That reminder that he’d hurt her. He
redirected his focus on getting her to open up since he had to admit he’d never
been curious about her childhood. “Talk to me, honey.”
    “What do you want to know?”
    “All of it.”
    She sighed. He’d just keep bugging her till she did. “Alana
and my father were always at war with each other. Their life—my life— after the
divorce was a war zone. They had no interest in getting along for the sake of a
child, that’s for sure. I don’t think I’ve ever seen two people more opposite
in their approach to life in general or their attitude toward me.
    “I see all these horrific custody cases in the news and my
heart goes out to the kids because I’ve been through it, in the trenches,
pulled apart by two people who wanted conflicting things for me.” She shrugged
her shoulders before going on, “I don’t know when their animosity started but
it had to be before I came along.
    “Look, growing up with divorced parents was no big deal.
Half the kids I went to school with were in the same boat. Being a product of
divorce was never the issue. These two people were so volatile, sometimes it
seemed as though I was no more than a pawn, something to be fought over, fought
about, and then when one side won, I was quickly cast aside as an afterthought.
    “The year I turned five, he petitioned the court for full
custody.” Sadness crept into her voice. “Obviously he gave up the fight. Later
he told me it was because Alana had Jessica on her side and he knew he couldn’t
win, but as I grew older I suspected there was some other reason.”
    “Like what?”
    She grew quiet, willed the tears away.
    As soon as they neared the edge of the water, Jake watched
as she slipped off her shoes and walked along the sand in bare feet.
    A light wind off the ocean hit her cheeks as she glanced
upward, deliberately turning her attention to a noisy flock of seagulls that
flew overhead and landed just on the other side of the rocks jutting out into
the ocean. The clouds so thick and full earlier had parted and left huge holes
in the sky so that the stars glittered. She spotted the full moon and sat down
in her good dress.
    “How about if we sit here for a while?” Looking up at Jake,
she patted the sand, knowing he was reluctant to

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